18 killed in devastating fire in Kolkata

Tags: News
A major fire engulfed a market housing a godown-cum-office complex in Sealdah area here early today, leaving 18 people dead and several others injured.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Javed Shamim said the dead included a woman.

15 people have so far been rescued from the inferno.

The fire was detected at 3.50 am when the victims were fast asleep, police said.

The injured were rushed to state-run NRS and Medical College hospitals.

Fire Services Minister Javed Khan told PTI that six persons were brought out from the burning godown in an unconscious state by the firemen, who were trying to find if others were trapped inside.

He said 26 fire tenders fought the blaze for over three hours to bring the situation under control.

Firemen and police personnel cordoned off the area to facilitate fire fighting operations.

The cause of the fire and the extent of damage were under investigation, police said.

Khan, who rushed to the spot and personally supervised fire fighting operations, said there was no fire safety arrangement in the market and blamed the market authorities for the lapse.

"We will take action against the market authorities for not having any fire safety arrangement", the minister said.

To a question, he said the entire building housing the market was unauthorised and illegal and had come up during the previous Left Front regime.

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